Presentations On My Mind


I enjoy presenting.  I consider myself a decent presenter, so I started thinking about what makes a “good” presentation.  In my mind, a presentation I want to be a part of has three main components to it:

  1. They tell me why I should care.  I can’t tell you how many presentations I’ve been to that halfway through I have no idea why this is important.  Usually when I’m able to sit in a presentation I’ve invested travel time and dollars to be in the room with them.  Please tell me why I should care about what you have to say early on.  That gives me time to switch presentations if what you care about is far from what I care about.  I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for theoretical presentations, but at least let me know that.  My goal when I’m a viewer is to take away one practical application to my life, and if your goal isn’t to provide that I can find something else.
  2. They use their time wisely.  I’m not a rambler…which could be taken as odd for a history teacher.  I like for people to get to the point quickly so that I can begin to contextualize what they’re saying for my particular situation.  Sometimes there are good reasons for people to meander through steam of consciousness stories, but often those are filler.  Anyone who has sat through more than a few presentations knows what is filler to kill time versus what is useful to a presentation.
  3. They leave time at the end.  I believe that a little time at the end of any presentation is beneficial to everyone involved.  Time to chat with the people around me can help me crystallize what was said in the presentation.  A Q&A session at the end allows people to get clarification on points that were made.  Even leaving time to try something that you’ve presented on is helpful.  The constant complaint of teachers is “we don’t have enough time for planning,” so why not let them have a little time to do so?

Anyhow, just some thoughts on presenting.  I’ve probably broken some or all of these at some point during a presentation, but I try not to.


The Future…Of History


I go through this cycle every couple of years.

I start the cycle by loving where I’m at in my career.  I’m enjoying where I’m at in life, everything is going well, and there is not a care in the world.

At this point, I’m minding my own business, and someone starts talking about academia.  I think back to my time in college and graduate school.  I think how much I learned and how great it was to learn about subjects I’m interested in and the wheels of my mind start spinning out of control.

Next in my cycle is I start thinking about what kind of degree I would go after, if I were to decide to go get one.  I think about a history masters degree, but I don’t do languages well, so that is out.  I look at religion degrees, but the universities in my area don’t have religion programs I would be interested in being a part of.  I settle on education degrees and narrow them down into some I would be interested in and others I would not.

Finally, I start researching programs in my area and the cost of attending, details, etc.  I then present my findings to my family who agree this would be a great idea, but the timing isn’t quite right.  I’ve always known this in my head, but hearing them vocalize this snaps me back to reality…oops, there goes gravity… (bad Eight Mile reference there).

Added to these realities right now is the fact that I’m not sure what I want my next step in education to be.  Do I want to be an administrator?  Do I want to move into educational technology?  Do I want to move into counseling?  Who knows.